Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Having an SSD for the only drive in my laptop I'm wondering which of shutdown / hibernate / sleep causes the least wear to it? Is there any serious test that would measure that?

Suppose that the laptop is in daily use with mostly common business apps running (Chrome, FireFox, Word, Excel, OneNote, etc.), sometimes a vmware machine. The OS is Windows 7 Enterprise.

share|improve this question
7  
You're worrying too much. :) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 25 '11 at 18:38
    
Agreed with @techie007, you shouldn't really worry about this at all. That being said I think shutting down and restarting results in the most hard disk operations. –  slhck Apr 25 '11 at 19:28
6  
@slhck: Hibernate saves memory and thus writes a lot more to the disk than when you would shutdown and boot which are mostly reads. SSD wears significantly more from writes than it does from reads. –  Tom Wijsman Apr 25 '11 at 20:49
    
@Tom Yes, that's of course true! But how come my Macbook (for example) goes to sleep within seconds - although it would theoretically have to save Gigabytes of RAM content to the drive? –  slhck Apr 25 '11 at 21:44
4  
@slhck: That's because hibernate isn't sleep. :) –  Tom Wijsman Apr 25 '11 at 23:22
show 1 more comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Note: The power is cut for each operation and thus irrelevant, even for sleep the SSD won't receive power.

From best to worst:

  • Sleep, this barely reads or writes.

  • Reboot, this would write a bit while shutting down and read a lot when booting.

    However, writes wear the SSD significantly more than reads do as the cells will burn out over time...

  • Hibernate, this does a lot of writes (at least your whole used memory) and then read it all back in. You can download an automatic fix to quickly disable hibernation on Widnows...

share|improve this answer
    
Sounds reasonable. –  Ondrej Tucny Apr 25 '11 at 22:37
2  
I was going to suggest moving the hibernate file (hiberfil.sys) to a different drive that isn't an SSD; but everything I've been able to find on Google says you simply can't. :( –  Kyralessa Apr 27 '11 at 5:16
add comment

You can find out by using SSDLife (it has a free version):

  1. Open SSDLife, record "Data written, GB" value (value1);
  2. Do a Shutdown/Hibernate/Sleep;
  3. Open SSDLife, record "Data written, GB" value (value2);
  4. value2 - value1;

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
1  
I don't know how the app works in respect to SSD's features (e.g. some usage counters probably), so how trustworthy the numbers can be in respect to the specifics of a shutdown / hibernation / sleep in terms of application run-time? –  Ondrej Tucny Apr 25 '11 at 22:37
    
@Ondrej Tucny: Sorry mate, I'm not sure if I understand you correctly (English is not my native language). If you are worrying about the correctness of the statistics provided by SSDLife, take a look at this page. If you are using Intel SSD, you can also use Intel SSD Toolbox to check the "Host Reads" and "Host Wirtes" values. –  user68795 Apr 25 '11 at 23:17
    
Awesome tool! May even be blog worthy ;) –  KronoS Apr 29 '11 at 3:55
add comment

Since Vista, sleep is usually hybrid sleep, which means it goes to sleep first and then hibernates "later" in case the power goes out. So both will write. With shutdown, it won't write (much) on shutdown, but will read on startup; but reading does not cause much "wear".

But I wouldn't worry about it. With an SSD, there are no moving parts. With a laptop, you want to be able to "pick up and go", and the reverse "open up and go" back to work. Just use sleep. Let your machines work for you, not the other way around.

share|improve this answer
    
Only on desktops, on a laptop hybrid sleep is off at the laptop companies request. Why would they want that? To protect the hard drive: blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2011/05/10/10162728.aspx Albeit this should be less of an issue with a SSD, it does mean that the user needs to turn it on themselves (see same link above) –  Robert MacLean May 16 '11 at 6:50
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.